Yerkes in Jeopardy... Dec 17, 2004 19:36:46 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 17, 2004 19:36:46 GMT -6
The World's Largest Refractor is in Jeopardy
While at the Adler today, I overheard a conversation about the possibility of the Yerkes observatory being sold and possibly torn down.
Upon checking the info, the news was indeed correct:
December 15, 2004 |
Yerkes Observatory may soon have a new owner. The University of Chicago has considered selling the observatory's telescopes, buildings, and about 80 acres of lakefront property in southeastern Wisconsin "for decades," says director Kyle M. Cudworth, the only astronomer still working full time at the former research powerhouse. Now a sale seems imminent, and it remains unclear what the future holds for the observatory's century-old refractor (the world's largest), its Romanesque main building, and its two dozen employees.
Cudworth first learned in July that the university had received — and was close to accepting — an unsolicited offer for Yerkes from a developer hoping to build houses on the observatory's landscaped grounds. (Two sources peg the sale price at about $10 million.) Shortly thereafter, rumors of a likely sale prompted area resident Larry Larkin and a handful of neighbors to make a counteroffer. Larkin and his colleagues hope to acquire the property for Aurora University, whose George Williams campus abuts Yerkes on three sides. Both offers remain in effect, and several sources say that the University of Chicago may choose between them by late January.
More on the Story here: skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1408_1.asp
Now, the Adler and the city of Chicago needs to move quickly on this, but of course science isn't a priority, but a big reflective bean in an overpriced Millennium Park is I guess. They were offered 10 million for the observatory, a paltry sum in the whole scheme of things.
The downward spiral of civilization continues.